Perry addresses Texas delegates at Republican National Convention

August 31, 2012 4:38:16 PM PDT
Mitt Romney's speech Thursday night was well received by delegates at the Republican National Convention.

We talked to Texas delegates who were eager to get back home and get out the votes for Romney. Among them was Gov. Rick Perry, for whom this week could have been so much different.

"I've been thinking about Florida a lot lately," Perry said.

Speaking to the Texas delegation Thursday morning, Perry admitted this was an awkward convention for him.

"If you want to make God smile, tell him your plans. Well my plan was to be speaking tonight at the convention," he said.

For months, Perry campaigned for the spot Romney won. But in an interview with us this week, he said he's fine with the way it ended.

"I haven't really left the fight. I am not the quarterback, but I am still on the team," Perry said.

He's campaigned for Romney and will again but won't yet rule out a presidential run in 2016, when Romney could be running for re-election.

"2016 is three lifetimes away in my business. We got a legislative session coming up," Perry said.

And after, that a potential gubernatorial re-election race in 2014. Perry's already the longest serving governor in Texas and there are signs people in his own party may put pressure on him to leave.

"'14 will take care of itself," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

Abbott has banked $14.5 million in campaign cash -- nearly five times what Perry has -- and is rumored to want to be governor.

In the middle of this Romney-Obama battle, Texas delegates are keeping an eye on a potential Abbott campaign.

"I would vote for him, yeah, if he ran," Texas delegation member Tammy Strum said.

"Over Rick Perry?" we asked.

"Oh, I like both of them," she said.

All Abbott will say is he will be on the ballot in 2014.

"He does aspire to the governor of the state of Texas some day, but there are a lot of people who aspire to be the governor of the state of Texas. That day will come for him," Perry said.

Both Abbott and Perry spoke to the Texas delegation this week and both were well received. Any thought that Perry's support for David Dewhurst in the recent Senate primary may have hurt him didn't appear to be present. He received several standing ovations during his address.


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